5 Red Flags to Never Ignore in Client Relationships

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I would like to start by firstly thanking Linked for recommending a specific post that spoke on the subject above and gave me the option of turning it into a Post. Being the good Blogger I am and a lover of content, I thought to turn it into a Blog post and share to LinkedIn.

I will maintain my stance that 2021 was one of the most challenging years I’ve experienced as an adult and also one of the best years I’ve experienced as an adult. I learned so much about myself and how to lead with intelligence and a level head versus emotions (as I always do). Another important thing I learned is that we are all equipped with certain “gifts” that are innate and unique to us that will allow us to make money and provide for ourselves and our families. I always knew I had the desire to help people and have turned this into my side-hustle where I offer Digital Marketing Services entered around creating content for brands online and also what I like to call concierge services where I help individual with specific things like coordinating a book launch,  putting together a photo shoot or sourcing items that are hard to find. This side-hustle allowed me to pay my bills during the pandemic when my salary was cut in half.

5 Red Flags to Never Ignore in Client Relationships

Red Flags at work

I’ve said this as a prelude to what I really want to get into which is How to Spot Red Flags In Client Relationships.

When you really think about it, Client Relationships are similar to regular relationships that are built on certain principles like: Trust, Commitment, Privacy, Boundaries and a trade of something you need from the other person. If you are like me and have a side-hustle where you manage clients, here are a 5 Red Flags to look out for.

Lack of Trust

Lack of trust reduces transparency and communication . This might not be as simple as it seems and can stem from previous issues where the client’s trust was broken in a previous situation. We’ve all heard it before when a client comes to us and gives us a story of how the last person messed things up and put them in a state where you have to start over from scratch and focus on damage control and restoring all that was lost versus growth and increasing brand awareness. This is a major issue as pertinent information that can help you to effectively and effectively do you job can be hindered because the client refuses to tell you anything or grants you access to their Social Media accounts. I’ve been in this situation and instead of the client telling me information about the specific brand I’m managing, I had to take days to research what other brands similar to that one is doing in the Industry. Beware of clients with trust issues.

Red Flags at Work

Poor and Inconsistent Communication

The biggest part about any relationship, lies in communication. How often do you speak with the client and what are you talking about.?Again, I’ve had this experience –my process involves sending the client all content to review and approve before posting. There was one client who would never respond to any form of communication which included emails, messages and phone calls. They would respond when they  “felt like” it and would have the most ridiculous changes after things were done that cannot be un-done. For Example, I would publish a post on a Monday and they would finally respond the following Monday to say they didn’t like the specific post. This actually backfired and instead of her brand looking credible and able to solve problems as posts would constantly be taken down then re-uploaded, it ended up looking like a confusing mess.

Vision Shifted Consistently

Where my Graphics Designers and Videographers at?! Hands up if you have version 12 of the same piece of content because the client had a change of heart or they “had a dream”. I understand that people are entitled to changing their mind to ensure their brand is represented in the best light, but they should also know what they want. In this case, I’ve found that Graphics Designers and those who work on other forms of content, tend to limit the amount of revisions which makes complete sense. It is important to clearly state the amount of revisions in the Contract to avoid back and forth. Be sure to charge for anything that goes beyond the amount of revisions.



I must admit, I had no idea what this term really meant after hearing it so often until I experienced in 2020. If you would like a definition of gaslighting it means to: manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity. A perfect example of this is doing something abusive (emotional in this case) then denying it happened and make the person question their own sanity and twist things in a way so the gaslighter becomes the victim. There was a client who would also never give clear instructions or whenever clarity was requested, they would say things like “I can’t believe you don’t know this when I’ve explained it 100 times”. They know they never gave clear instructions in the first place which caused me to question my own abilities, searched through emails and WhatsApp to see if there was something I indeed missed, knowing nothing was explained in the first place. If you spot the first sign of gaslighting, run!

Rarely Pays on Time

This is one of the biggest struggles for more creatives that causes us to sometimes run back to the 9-5 because it is more stable. There are those clients who are extremely demanding, who give you work and expect a quick turnaround time and hound you until it has been completed. As soon as it’s time to pay, they go missing and the bank suddenly moves or there is an issue at the bank with their account. There are so many excuses and stories but the one thing that always comes through is the fact that they had no intention of paying you in the first place. This can be avoided by clearing stating in the contract that a 50% deposit is needed to start all jobs or you require full payment up front to take on their project.


If you are a creative or anyone who works with clients, these are a few of the Red Flags you should be on the lookout for. Let me know in the comments section if you experienced any of these and how you dealt with it.

I hope this article inspired at least one person to go boldly in the direction of their dreams.

*This article was inspired by Pauleanna Reid on LinkedIn who shared the points above*

#5 Red Flags to Never Ignore in Client Relationships

#5 Red Flags to Never Ignore in Client Relationships

#5 Red Flags to Never Ignore in Client Relationships

#5 Red Flags to Never Ignore in Client Relationships

#5 Red Flags to Never Ignore in Client Relationships

Haute People was launched in September 2011 as a Fashion Blog and has grown into a Lifestyle Blog. The Term “Haute” can be defined as “Fashionably Elegant” or of High Quality. This blog looks at topics from Beauty, Fashion, Entertainment, Hair Trends, Pop Culture as well as exciting new features every month. A favorite among our readers is “Behind The Seams” where influential people from the Creative Industries are featured. . Haute People are Smart, Bold, Creative and Individualistic. If you have an innate passion for Lifestyle, Fashion and all things current, you are HAUTE.

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